Leveraging Euro 2016 as a Digital Marketing Tool

With the knockout stages of Euro 2016 now coming to a close, the tournament is just a week away from its completion. Soon we will be left with the top two sides on the continent, each of which will compete for success on the biggest of global stages. While the majority of England fans are preoccupied with the team selections of manager Roy Hodgson, however, the truth is that the impact and reach of the tournament goes far beyond this.

Euro 2016 is far more than a global sporting event, however, as it also holds incredible value as an engaging marketing channel. The final in 2012 drew in a staggering 299 million viewers worldwide, for example, so an ability to leverage the current event could boost your quarterly sales and conversion rates.

How to Capitalise on Euro 2016 in a cost-effective manner

The popular nature of international sporting events is compelling for brands, with many large corporations willing to pay huge sums for prime print and digital advertising spots. Even if this is beyond your marketing budget, however, there are more cost-effective ways in which you can leverage Euro 2016 to your advantage. Consider the following: -

Create relevant Content that Naturally ties into Euro 2016

If you are one of the many markets who now commit more than 60% of your time to digital activities, you will understand the importance of content. A key driver of all marketing messages, you must invest in the development of relevant, shareable and consistent content that engages readers.

Relevance is a particularly important concept, and one that cannot be ignored when leveraging major events such as the Euros. More specifically, you must develop organic hooks that tie the tournament into your content, creating narratives that make sense relation to the product or service that you sell.

While this is easier for some brands than others (food and beverage providers, for example), it is crucial that you take the time to target a specific segment of the viewing audience and build your content from there.

On a final note, remember that you are leveraging the appeal of the event and its audience rather than individual brands or sponsors. So, refrain from using any official Euro 2016 trademarks or logos unless you have the express permission to do so!

Integrate personality (and Emojis) into your email

We are big believers in the power of email marketing, so long as it is done well and in line with modern trends. Given this and the fact that 64% of subscribers will only open a message sent from a trusted, personal account, this means that there is real value in customising your Euro 2016-inspired emails this summer.

This is easy enough to do, especially when you consider the emotional triggers associated with consumers' chosen nations. By including relevant and playful references to different teams across an international audience, you can appeal to a wider range of customers while utilising humour, empathy and insight. If you combine this with a conversational tone and an active voice, you can really introduce some energy and personality into your message!

You may also want to consider using football-related emojis, particularly in your subject line. Apparently, 63% of respondents in the UK are more likely to open an email that features immediately visible emojis, so use football-affiliated examples where relevant to intrigue your readers.

Herald the importance of timing

Timing is everything in the real-time worlds of digital marketing and social media, and failing to capitalise on a particular trend is one of the biggest errors you can make online. While this can be challenging due to the unpredictability of results and the tournament's knockout nature, an appreciating of timing will offer you the best possible chance of results.

Let's say you are targeting a UK audience, for example, and have a promotional campaign aimed at the fans of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It would have made good sense to kick-start this from the beginning of the group stages in order to optimise customer participation, as all sides apart from Wales were eliminated after only four games. If you miss the boat, you run the risk of being left with an innovative and potentially engaging idea that has a drastically-reduce target market.

So, if you intend to leverage the Euros for your brand, be sure to follow the tournament closely while identifying the ideal times to launch campaigns and send communications.

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